Forget such trivial distractions as how Iraq's supposed stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction could vanish into thin air; the really challenging problem for the American ruling class these days is how to explain and justify why it's OK for blacks, Asians, Hispanics and every other ethnic group in the country to have its own separate organization and identity, but not OK for whites.
Usually this little dilemma is hushed up and simply ignored, but recently Fox News had the guts to bring it up for discussion. ("Critics Slam Single-Race School Events," by Liza Porteus, June 4, 2003)
The answers were not particularly encouraging or enlightening.
A recent controversy over white high school students in Georgia who held their own, whites-only prom did not sit well with various commentators who labeled it "racism," "segregation," a "return to Jim Crow," and various other species of wickedness.
The same commentators were mostly silent about the myriad blacks-only graduation ceremonies and celebrations held around the same time at a number of elite universities.
Moreover, the same schools often sport what the Fox story called "race-based living quarters" - that is, racially exclusive dormitories - on their own campuses.
Needless to say, such dormitories for whites aren't allowed, and if any white kids even peeped about setting one up, the government would send in the Marines.
But it has occurred to some to point out the "double standard" involved in these matters. Carol M. Swain, the black author of a recent book on what she claims is The New White Nationalism In America, says there is a double standard and that allowing blacks to exclude whites only encourages - and tends to justify - whites excluding blacks.
"As long as universities and colleges and high schools support black activities," Miss Swain says, "there will be increasing pressure for them to allow white students the same latitude, because it's a double standard and I think more and more people can see that."
Criticizing only one side of the double standard, she told Fox, carries "identity politics too far."
But not everyone agrees. Gary Orfield, a Harvard sociologist, [email him] says racially exclusionary events are "good sometimes, it depends on whether it's done in any exclusionary way or an enriching way."
Well, how do you tell whether an exclusionary event is "exclusionary" or just "enriching"?
It basically comes down to whether it's whites who get excluded (in which case it's "enriching") or non-whites (in which it's "exclusionary").
One gentleman described as a "civil rights attorney," Leo James Terrell, goes a bit further. "Someone is trying to assume that Asians and blacks are on the same level, historically, in this country, as whites," he mutters.
"But what if a group of white students wanted to form their own campus group?" Fox asked Mr. Terrell.
"That's 'racist'" he responded. "If a college that has an integrated campus has an all-white college activity, that is insulting. For what? To promote what? White pride?"
Well, among other things, maybe so.
What Mr. Terrell says is about as plain and simple as you can get. Blacks and other non-whites have a perfect right to exclude whites from their organizations and events, but whites have no such right to exclude blacks.
The reason, apparently, is that whites in the past have oppressed non-whites, and now it's their turn to get oppressed themselves.
A tip of the hat [by email] to Mr. Terrell for his brutal frankness.
What the "civil rights attorney" discloses is that the "civil rights" he peddles aren't about "equality" at all but about power - the power of one race to dominate another, namely whites. The civil rights revolution and all the rest of the eyewash was just about one thing: what white Southern slaveholders used to call "bottom rail on top" - the dispossession of whites of their power and position and their replacement by blacks and other non-whites.
Does anyone, like Miss Swain, believe that carries "identity politics too far"?
Well, no. And in fact, most are perfectly right.
The truth is that all politics is identity politics. In every political conflict, there is a dispute about power - who has it and who should get it. And every such dispute involves groups - parties, classes, clans, religious sects, regions, civilizations, nations, or races - that possess a particular "identity."
The truth, exclusionary or enriching as the case may be, about what has happened in this country and throughout much of the world in recent decades is that most non-white racial and ethnic groups have acquired their own consciousness and identity and are pursuing power for themselves and in their own interests.
Yet another truth is that, for the most part, whites have not and are not.
Whether Miss Swain is right about the rise of white nationalism or not may tell us how true these truths will remain in the future.
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[Sam Francis [email him] is a nationally syndicated columnist. A selection of his columns,
America Extinguished: Mass Immigration And The Disintegration Of American Culture, is now available from Americans For Immigration Control.]